As we begin the final few weeks of the current school year and look forward to school re-entry in the fall, I want to assure you that we are engaging in strategic planning processes. Alberta Education has directed school authorities to prepare for three possible scenarios:
- Schools reopen to normal operations.
- Schools are open for classes with some health restrictions that affect operations.
- Schools remain closed for classes and at home learning continues.
Alberta Education has committed to providing the final plan no later than August 1 based on the best available information to allow school authorities time to make any additional adjustments to planning for the new school year.
Aligned with Occupational Health and Safety legislation, we had previously established a Joint Workplace Health and Safety Committee that will take the leadership for our re-entry planning process. The Committee includes representation from staff at both campuses as well as central office.
We have access to multiple resources to guide our re-entry strategies, particularly the advice of the province’s chief medical officer of health and Alberta Education guidelines. Our challenge resides in predicting what health related restrictions will be mandated by Alberta Health Services such as social (physical) distancing and cleaning, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and so on. The Committee will reach out to parents periodically for feedback and support.
Consideration of the mental health and well-being of staff and students upon re-entry is a primary factor in decision-making.
We will provide more information in the coming weeks and over the summer to ensure all of our staff and students are ready to return to work and learning in a welcoming, safe, and healthy environment at the beginning of the new school year in September.